Biden Administration Takes Major Steps Forward to Build Back Fossil Free

Final Build Back Better Legislative Framework Highlights Frontlines and Rural Communities; Advocates Call for End to Fossil Fuel Projects

Following President Biden’s announcement of a final legislative framework for Build Back Better, frontline and rural communities are celebrating the prioritization of clean energy and clean water. Farmers and Ag-based climate solutions, good paying union jobs, environmental justice, and the frontline communities that are most impacted by the climate crisis are rightly included. Advocates welcome this inclusion while also emphasizing the need to end new fossil fuel projects and respect Tribal Sovereign Rights by, among other things, halting the Dakota Access and Line 3 pipelines that are operating without proper permits, and putting a stop to the Mountain Valley and Mariner East pipelines.

Building Back Better also means saying “no” to more pipelines and other fossil fuel projects, including the risky scheme Big Oil has now bet big on with so-called “carbon pipelines” that would endanger rural communities and extend the life of fossil fuels.

As President Biden has said, our country spent $99 billion on disasters fueled by the climate crisis last year alone. We have no time to waste. The Biden Administration should take Executive Action to stop permitting dangerous new fossil fuel projects. New analysis from Oil Change International shows that if the Biden Administration moves ahead with the Dakota Access, Line 3, Line 5, Mariner East, and Mountain Valley pipelines, the devastating result would be the emissions equivalent of 115 coal fired power plants.

“President Biden applied science and a climate test when he stopped the Keystone XL pipeline,” said Jane Kleeb, a leader of the Stop Trump Pipelines coalition. ”Stopping one risky pipeline is not enough to end the yearly price tag of $99 billion in damages across the country from the climate crisis. Reckless fossil fuel corporations have a stranglehold on our country’s energy sector. President Biden promised America he would lead on environmental justice, follow the science and apply the climate test to all fossil fuel projects. We need President Biden and Congress to pass the Build Back Better Agenda and at the same time stop risky pipelines that threaten climate goals and our communities health and safety.”

The Biden Administration has declared the climate crisis a “code red” situation, while Press Secretary Jen Psaki has said the President has “taken across the board steps, every step he can take within his control, to move the climate agenda forward.” However, earlier this month, more than 600 people were arrested in front of the White House during the “People vs Fossil Fuels” mass civil disobedience actions, urging the Administration to fulfill its commitments to climate action, environmental justice, and Indigenous rights by rejecting new fossil fuel projects and declaring a climate emergency to expedite the deployment of clean, renewable energy.

“We took the frontlines to president Biden’s doorstep earlier this month, because this and past administration’s have made our homes the frontlines,” said Joye Braun, National Pipelines Campaign Organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network. “President Biden must use the authority given to him to declare a climate emergency, stop line 3, honor treaties, engage in Free Prior Informed consent with Indigenous communities and stop the expansion of fracking and oil and gas leases on public lands. If we are in the “red” then act like it. Biden can’t say he’s working on the climate crisis unless he takes real action. Our people, our future generations, demand bold, decisive action, not lip service.